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For the second consecutive year, T&T Olympic and World Championship medallist, swimmer George Bovell is giving back to the sport of swimming by hosting a series of clinics for junior athletes in T&T, with the help of two of his medal-winning peers from Eastern Europe in Croatian Duje Draganja and Serbian Milorad Cavic.
The Dive In Free Swim Clinics splashed off yesterday afternoon at the Blue Dolphins Swimming Pool at St Mary’s College Ground, Serpentine Road, St Clair.
Today the clinic continues with a coaches symposium from 11am followed by a clinic from 3.30 to 6.30. Tomorrow the clinic concludes with a final session from 10am to 12 noon.
Yesterday, Bovell and his fellow Olympic and World Championship medal winners held a media conference at the VIP Lounge, Hasely Crawford Stadium, Mucurapo and all expressed their eagerness to get down to work.
Draganja, who was also involved in last year’s clinic, said he was excited to see how much the swimmers have grown and how they have applied what was taught in 2013, as the trio are expected to work with the same group of junior athletes.
He was also looking forward to interacting with local coaches, and getting their feedback on the techniques which will be demonstrated.
Cavic, who is best known for his photo-finish with Michael Phelps and silver medal at the 2008 Beijing Olympics, said he loves to impart his extensive knowledge to children because ‘they are the future’.
Cavic has his own clinic in Serbia and relishes the prospect of working with children and coaches. In addition to the symposium this morning, coaches are also allowed to sit in on the clinics to glean what they can about the dry land and in-water drills and techniques that will be applied.
Bovell was high in praise of his peers who he called humble men who rose above physical challenges such as injury to recover and swim better than before.
He said he hoped the clinics can inspire those youth who attend to dream big and raise the profile of swimming to be one of the top sports in the country and also extended thanks to the sponsors of the three-day clinic – the Ministry of Sport and the Sports Company of T&T (Sportt).